2016 All-Japan Research Team: Auto Parts, No. 1: Kunihiro Matsumoto
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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Auto Parts, No. 1: Kunihiro Matsumoto

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As he has done every year since 2008, Kunihiro Matsumoto captures first place on this roster.

< The 2016 All-Japan Research Team

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Kunihiro Matsumoto

SMBC Nikko Securities

First-Place Appearances: 9


Total Appearances: 14


Analyst Debut: 2003


As he has done every year since 2008, Kunihiro Matsumoto captures first place on this roster. In his reporting on 26 Japanese names, the 50-year-old SMBC Nikko Securities researcher exhibits “deep understanding and insight into [this sector] as well as the overall autos industry,” remarks one advocate, who also hails Matsumoto’s “ability to provide investment ideas by fusing basic earnings and valuation analysis with longer-term perspective.” Among the names the researcher is commending this year is Aichi’s Musashi Seimitsu Industry Co., a provider of automobile motor, steering and suspension parts. Rated outperform, the company should see an earnings boost in North America from Honda Motor Co.’s rollout of new models, he contends, as well as accelerated sales at other carmakers using its components, such as U.S.-based FCA US, popularly known as Chrysler, and Ford Motor Co. Musashi Seimitsu is further benefiting from both the demand in that region for sport utility vehicles, which is “leading to sales growth beyond the firm’s projections,” he notes, and an “unexpected positive turnaround” of its motorcycle and autos businesses in China. His price objective for the shares is ¥2,800, representing a 30.8 percent premium to their value in mid-March. Matsumoto’s outlook on NOK Corp. has become less favorable, however. Noting that its automotive business is solid — the Tokyo-headquartered company makes O-rings, gaskets and seals and vibration-proof rubber for cars — he cautions that demand for NOK’s other product lines is not nearly as robust. In particular, its business supplying seals for construction machinery in China is weak, he points out, and owing to a “significant drop in smartphone demand,” its flexible printed circuits operations are struggling. Accordingly, in early February the researcher lowered his rating on the shares from neutral to underperform; by mid-March they had tumbled 23.6 percent, to ¥1,882, lagging the domestic sector by 10.6 percentage points.



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